Apple bounces Pepe the Frog out of the App Store, back to alt-right Reddit
Apple has banned the alt-right’s favorite meme from its App Store.
Pepe the Frog, the once-innocent meme that was co-opted by racists of the alt-right, is banned from the App Store because it’s “considered objectionable content” under Apple’s developer guidelines, according to an email posted by a developer on Reddit.
The developer, whose post was first noticed by Motherboard, received a rejection letter from Apple saying “your app contains images and references to Pepe the Frog, which are considered objectionable content.”
The app in question is a Flappy Bird-style game starring Pepe the Frog except instead of tapping you scream into the phone’s microphone.
“My friend and I came up with the idea of combining shitposting with autistic screeching, so we made this just for fun,” the game’s creator wrote on — where else — Reddit’s r/The_Donald subreddit.
Though the “game” didn’t make it past Apple’s reviewers, the app is currently live in Google’s Play Store where there are a handful of other Pepe the Frog apps as well. It’s not clear if any of Google’s developer policies specifically prohibit Pepe or not, though the company does ban hate speech (the Anti-Defamation League has officially designated Pepe as a hate symbol).
Google is known to have a less stringent app review policy than Apple, which often takes a week or more to approve new app submissions. Google, by comparison, has a mostly automated process and typically approves apps within 24 hours or less.
We’ve reached out to Google for comment and will update when we hear back.